Study Guide

Having Our Say Part II, Chapter 5: Sadie and Bessie - Our Papa's People

By Sarah and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth

Part II, Chapter 5: Sadie and Bessie - Our Papa's People

  • Henry Delany is born on February 5, 1858, seven years before the "The Surrender," which is what he calls the end of the Civil War (2.5.1).
  • Henry never tells his children about the slavery days, except for his celebration at hearing the news.
  • He does, however, tell them that the Mocks—his former owners—were "as good as any people you could find anywhere" (2.5.5). Needless to say, the kids have a hard time understanding that.
  • The Mocks love Henry's mother Sarah, so they allow her to get married, which would not have been legally recognized at the time. She marries Thomas Delany and they have eleven kids.
  • After "The Surrender," the Delany family moves to Florida. They're able to get by without begging because their whole family is together and they can read and write.
  • Although he was raised Methodist, Henry converts to the Episcopalian church after a white reverend helps him attend St. Augustine's School in North Carolina.
  • That's where he meets Nanny James Logan, a "pretty gal" and "class valedictorian" (2.5.18). This guy just hit the jackpot.